Vimenti School, part of the Vimenti Center and Puerto Rico’s first public charter school, recently began its new school year after delivering iPads with internet connection to its families to ensure the distance education process.
Vimenti School has an enrollment of 126 students from kindergarten to third grade. The students are split by levels and connect in groups of four students three times a day. Each student group has a teacher and an assistant to help them with their classes.
Prior to the start of the semester, Vimenti’s administration delivered iPads with Internet connection to the 113 families that are part of the project, which works with two generations—parents and their children—with the goal of eradicating childhood poverty in Puerto Rico, the institution said.
“Classes are offered through videoconferencing platform Zoom and teachers contact students and their parents through Seesaw,” said Vimenti Executive Director Bárbara Rivera-Batista.
“This application allows students to do their homework and send it so the teachers can evaluate it, among other distance education benefits,” she said.
Wireless connectivity is provided through a collaboration between telecom company T-Mobile and the Vimenti project. The iPads were purchased using federal grant funding, Rivera-Batista said.
“After the government lockdown due to the pandemic, we had many challenges to conclude the last school semester because of our students’ lack of technological equipment and Internet connection,” said Rivera-Batista.
That said, Vimenti conducted a survey to identify needs, finding that 65% of its families and students did not have a computer and 47% did not have internet access.
This month, the Vimenti Center will start delivering lunches to participating Vimenti School students, along with school cafeterias using a pick-up system.